Tuesday, December 5, 2006

My Electronic Life - History #1: Ancestry

Ok gang, here is the part I mentioned in the first blog, a chronicle of my life. I’ll do this over a series of posts. This first post will focus on the beginnings. I’m going to try to do this chronologically.

I’ve read that understanding your ancestors can help shed some light on who you are. Sometimes I get the feeling this is true. I think about who my ancestors were, wonder what they did and how they lived. There are lots of sites on the Internet devoted to researching this. This one thing the Internet is good at, and is truly good, morally speaking.

A while back, I got a CD from my parents, who got it from my mothers relative, Denise Szydlowski. It had a scanned scrapbook/genealogy of my mothers side of the family. The following was derived from it:
My early ancestors on my mothers’ side resided in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. The early Christians on missionary journeys converted them to Christianity from Israel. Today they are known as Carpatho-Rusyns. As Christianity evolved, they became members of the Greek Catholic church. They were persecuted because of their religious beliefs. They didn’t have much political power and were agrarian. So to escape persecution, they immigrated to America. They saved up all they could, and made the long journey to Bremen, Germany. There they purchased a steamship ticket to New York sometime between 1860 and 1885. There were two families from Austria Hungary who immigrated to the United States and then married, the John Milyo and the Anna Demko.
They also spelled the name Milo and Miller before settling on Mello.
Thus came to be my mother, with her last name of Mello. Her father moved from Pennsylvania to Michigan and then to Indiana, where she met my father.
This side of the family was known for its literacy and writing, and later on, its art.

Peter Mello, Father of Michael Mello, born 18 December, 1884 – the same day as my daughter!

Approach to Nizna Ols’ava, located in Zemplin, Slovakia.
Village is the home of my Milyo ancestors

Village church in Nizna Ols’ava, Zemplin, Slovakia. Village of the Milyo family – 1830 – 1850’s.

Pictures and information courtesy of Michael Mello, copyright 2003.

When I was in high school, my mother put together a genealogy scrapbook which focused on my father’s German Heritage. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of that in digital form, so I will have to go do that.

The patriarchal side of my family had a shorter trip to make to get to America – they were already in Germany. I’m not too sure of their origins in Germany, but they, like the Mello-Demko’s, immigrated to America in the late 1800’s. They too moved Pennsylvania almost immediately. They then made their way towards Indiana, dying, marrying, and procreating along the way. By the 1940’s, they had established a general store on 3516-18 College Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana. It was called the Nick Kerz company. They sold lots of toys.

My grandfather, Robert Ulrich, was a good old door-to-door salesman. I remember he loved gadgets and loved to sing the toast: Ein Prosit. That’s probably what his father, Paul A. Ulrich, and his buddies were doing in this picture:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
der Gem├╝tlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
der Gem├╝tlichkeit.
Eins, Zwei, Drei, g'suffa

Roughly translated..
A toast, a toast that cosy feeling…
A toast, a toast good vibes
one two three, chug it down

PAUL A. ULRICH now resides at Crown Hill Cemetery.


So there you have it, my mothers side contributed religion, art, and literature, my fathers side contributed business acumen and love for technology and good old German engineering.
Its kind of sad how the family roots will now be blasted to bits. I live in Texas, one sister lives in South Carolina, the other in Indiana, and the parents won’t stay put. It would be hard, I think, for any future progeny to track where they were from in this new global age. That is, it would be hard without computers. Computers never forget. And I don’t want to either. Which is one reason for this web site. Never forget where you came from, and you’ll always know where you’re going. And you can quote me on that.


Kurt Lindhurst said...

Peter A. Mello and Anna Demko are my great-grandparents. Their daughter Anna Philomena Mello married Michael Marcinko; their daughter Delores is my mother. My name is Kurt Lindhurst. Your site is interesting; it makes things a little more real to me, like the photo of Zemplin, of which I'd only heard. I have several pics of Great-grandpa Mello, but yours was one I didn't have; "new" family pics are always a great find!

Paul Ulrich said...

email me at paululrich@gmail.com. I have a lot of cool stuff on that CD that you will want. I can mail you a copy or something. Its great to find another relative! lets connect our geni.com trees, if you have one.

Monica Graham said...

Peter A. Mello and Anna Demko are my great grandparents, too. My grandmother is Teresa Graham. She is the daughter of Peter A. Mello and Anna Demko. My father (Robert Graham) and I (Monica Graham) are trying to find out our ancestors history. Can you guys email my father at r010159@cox.net please.

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